Olesen leads rain-hit Austrian Open

Thorbjørn Olesen held the lead of the Austrian Open on Thursday after rain ensured brought an early finish to play.

Thorbjørn Olesen was the clubhouse leader of the Austrian Open on Thursday after rain ensured many failed to finish their second 18 holes.

While half the field was forced off the course by heavy rain during the afternoon’s play, Olesen backed up his first round 64 (which he completed in the morning) with a second round 68 to stand at twelve-under-par.

The Dane has enjoyed a strong run of form of late, backing up his first Tour title at the Sicilian Open in April with a ninth-place finish at last week’s Open Championship.

“There was quite a strong wind out there at times,” said Olesen. “I struggled a bit round the turn and hit a few bad drives, but I managed to hit some good shots coming home, so I’m happy to get in on 12 under par. It’s been a long day, but a very good one.

“I’ve been playing well for the past few months really, so I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t win again. I’m just looking forward to the next two days now, hopefully I can get the job done.”

Frenchman Thomas Levet is his nearest challenger, three shots back on nine-under-par after rounds of 65 and 70.

“I was very pleased with some parts of my game, but not so pleased with other parts. I lost the speed of the greens, so struggled to make many putts. Uphill I was getting too aggressive, then downhill I was leaving them short, which was frustrating,” commented Levet.

Englishman Richard Bland is a further shot back on eight-under, with Dutchman Wil Besseling, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger (who shot an impressive 66) and Oscar Floren of Sweden the next best on seven-under.

First round leader Pablo Larrazábal was only to complete nine holes of his second round and had endured a disappointing start, carding two bogeys to find himself on six-under when weather brought a close to proceedings.